Congratulations to the Rising Stars 2021 !!!

The November 2021 issue of Polymer Journal is a special issue on 2021 Rising Stars in Polymer Science. Congratulations to the stars! Enjoy FREE access to the award wining articles until 5-Jan-2022.


  • Special issue on carbon dioxide-related polymer science

    The January 2021 special issue on carbon dioxide-related polymer science, features a collection of reviews, articles and note that cover a wide range of research topic concerning carbon dioxide capture, polymerization of carbon dioxide, and polymer degradation into carbon dioxide. The special issue editors are Prof. Koji Nakano, Prof. Yu Hoshino, Prof. Keiji Numata and Prof. Keiji Tanaka.


  • A series of polyacrylamide/polyanionic cellulose/Zr–CP (PAM/PAC/Zr–CP) composite hydrogels were prepared via acrylamide polymerization in aqueous solution of PAC and disodium terephthalate (Na2BDC), followed by posttreatment in 0.1 M ZrOCl2 solution. The coordination of Zr(IV) clusters with carboxylates on PAC and BDC2− endows the hydrogels with improved strength and adsorption of methyl orange (MO). Specially, over 5 MPa of compressive strength and 500 mg MO/g Zr of MO-adsorption capacity are attained. This work provides a facile and green approach to synthesize CP-based composite hydrogels with enhanced mechanical and adsorptive properties through strong metal–ligand coordination.

    • Chaolun Zheng
    • Jianquan Wang
    • Ziqiang Shao
    Original Article
  • The self-assembly of biomolecules is an important strategy for fabricating structurally ordered artificial nanomaterials. In this study, we investigated the cellodextrin phosphorylase-catalyzed synthesis and self-assembled structures of cellulose oligomers in the presence of protein denaturants. The modulation of intermolecular interactions between oligomers by protein denaturants under adequate synthesis conditions resulted in the production of oligomers with greater degrees of polymerization and different crystal structures.

    • Yuta Sakurai
    • Toshiki Sawada
    • Takeshi Serizawa
    Original Article
  • A supramolecular complex termed “hemoCD1” was constructed as the aqueous synthetic Hb/Mb model using a 1:1 inclusion complex of 5,10,15,20-tetrakis(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphinatoiron(II) with a per-O-methylated β-cyclodextrin dimer with a pyridine linker. HemoCD1 was used as a selective CO scavenger in vivo due to its extremely high binding affinity to CO. In addition, hemoCD1 was utilized to quantify the accumulation of endogenous and exogenous CO in organs/tissues. Finally, hemoCD1 was employed as an antidote for CO poisoning in animals.

    • Hiroaki Kitagishi
    • Qiyue Mao
    Focus Review
  • Utilizing the emulsion-forming ability of partially deacetylated chitin nanofibers, a composite with polystyrene (PS) was prepared. A partially deacetylated chitin nanofiber aqueous dispersion was added to styrene to obtain an oil in a water-type Pickering emulsion. Using the emulsion, suspension polymerization was performed to obtain PS fine particles covered with chitin nanofibers. This composite could be molded by hot pressing, and the molded product was transparent to some extent. Mechanical properties of PS were greatly improved. When the composite was molded again, the mechanical properties did not decrease.

    • Koichi Tanabe
    • Hironori Izawa
    • Shinsuke Ifuku
    Original Article
  • Using a facile method, a gelatin hydrogel with anisotropic gel properties was prepared on a substrate via hydrogelation to induce self-assembly. Three kinds of surface properties (structural control factors) of the template induce the formation of an anisotropic gelatin network by self-assembly. The swelling behavior and mechanical properties of the anisotropic and isotropic gelatin hydrogels are different. When the hydrogel is compressed in a direction perpendicular to the tube-like gelatin network, the inner space of the network is compressed.

    • Kohei Kawaguchi
    • Syuuhei Komatsu
    • Kazuki Murai
    Rapid Communication
  • Hydrophobically modified polysaccharides have attracted considerable attention in the biomedical field because of their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and nontoxicity. This article reviews previous studies on micellar structures formed by hydrophobically modified polysaccharides (pullulan and amylose) in aqueous solutions by static and dynamic light scattering, small angle X-ray and neutron scattering, and fluorescence from pyrene solubilized in the polymer solution. Depending on the degree of substitution, the hydrophobically modified polysaccharides exist in aqueous solution as full or loose flower necklaces or as nanogels made up of randomly branched polymers.

    • Takahiro Sato
    • Jia Yang
    • Ken Terao
  • In this article, a series of thermo-driven self-healable organic/inorganic nanohybrid polyurethane (WMPUS-x) films were prepared with different addition amount of furfuryl modified silica nanoparticles (furan@SiO2). The self-healable system was constructed via a DA/retro-DA process among furan@SiO2 and maleimide-terminated waterborne polyurethane. The results exhibited the addition of furan@SiO2 enhanced the mechanical behavior of all WPU samples.

    • Haoliang Wang
    • Hui Wang
    • Haibo Wang
    Original Article
  • TEMPO-catalyzed oxidation enables efficient and position-selective conversion of primary hydroxy groups in water-soluble and -insoluble polysaccharides to sodium carboxylate groups. TEMPO/NaBr/NaClO in water at pH 10 is an advantageous system in terms of the degrees of oxidation and reaction rates. Various new water-soluble TEMPO-oxidized polysaccharides have been prepared by TEMPO-catalyzed oxidation, and they have unique properties and functionalities. When crystalline native cellulose and chitin are oxidized by the TEMPO/NaBr/NaClO system under suitable conditions, the obtained water-insoluble oxidized products can be converted to characteristic nanomaterials by mechanical disintegration in water.

    • Akira Isogai
  • We estimated the configurational heat capacity above a glass transition temperature (Tg) of 21 types of polymers for which molecular vibration analysis was already completed. The polymers for which the configurational heat capacity was determined are six types of linear polymers with a carbon backbone, eight types of polyesters, and seven types of poly(oxide)s. As temperature increases, the configurational heat capacity of all polymers decreases. Based on Landau’s theory, the obtained heat capacity can be well reproduced by the power and logarithmic functions.

    • Eri Nishiyama
    • Marika Yokota
    • Itaru Tsukushi
    Original Article